Important news from the Cobb Chamber: On Tuesday, March 15 the citizens of Cobb will vote on a one-cent four year Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). If approved by voters, it will be in effect from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2015. Currently, 4% of Cobb County’s 6% sales tax (one of the lowest sales tax rates in the state) goes to the state, 1% to the School SPLOST and the final %1 to the current County SPLOST (set to expire Dec. 31, 2011).
At its January Board Meeting, the Cobb Chamber Board of Directors unanimously approved to support the 2011 SPLOST renewal, based on the following facts: (1) Since it will not raise taxes, it will keep Cobb County’s taxes the lowest in the region while providing critical infrastructure improvements which are vital for economic growth and job creation while reducing traffic congestion. (2) Not continuing the SPLOST, and loss of this revenue, may force the county to raise property taxes, incur costly deferment of maintenance, and incur debt to keep pace with our past and future growth. (3) 30 percent of the SPLOST revenues are collected from non-county residents. (4)The project list has been vetted by the taxpayers and has a four-year sunset that ensures accountability.
Where will the money go? If approved, SPLOST funds will go to parks, transportation, public safety, libraries, senior centers and other Cobb and city facilities. Each Cobb city will receive a portion of the funds allocated according to 2009 Census estimates.
- FACILITIES TOTAL $16,748,420
Libraries, Senior Services, Judicial, Public Health and other County facilities in need of repairs, capital improvements, energy efficient upgrades and modernization.
- PUBLIC SAFETY TOTAL $12,896,400
Funds will go to Public Safety (Fire and Police) critical needs to replace aging facilities, equipment and apparatus. Also planned are improvements to public safety communications systems along with judicial and public health facilities.
- TRANSPORTATION TOTAL $250,885,000
Projects include infrastructure preservation (resurfacing, bridges and drainage), pedestrian improvements, transit, traffic congestion relief, safety and operational improvements (roadways, intersections and school zones), and federal/state matching funds. SPLOST funding will be leveraged to receive additional funding from other sources, including Federal, State and Community Improvements Districts.
- PARKS TOTAL $82,023,000
Funding for these projects will be geared toward revitalization of existing parks, and renovations to existing park buildings and facilities including athletic field upgrades.